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Business

Toyota Tsusho makes bid for Malaysia's top can maker

TOKYO -- Toyota Tsusho has offered to buy a majority stake in Malaysia's Kian Joo Can Factory, a move that would expand the Japanese trading house's consumer products business in Southeast Asia.

     Nagoya-based Toyota Tsusho is seeking 51% of the can maker for 847 million ringgit ($257 million), according to filings by Kian Joo with Bursa Malaysia, the local securities exchange.

     Kian Joo dominates the Malaysian can business, holding market shares of 70% in aluminum cans and 50% in steel. It logged 1.28 billion ringgit in sales and a net profit of 123 million ringgit last year.

     Demand for canned and bottle drinks is growing across Asia as incomes rise. Toyota Tsusho already has a soft drink bottle joint venture in Indonesia with Hokkan Holdings of Japan.

     A local company made a grab at Kian Joo last November, but Toyota Tsusho's bid comes in upwards of 10% higher on a per-share basis. The price may yet rise if a bidding war ensues.

(Nikkei)

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